I took a bold leap of faith to put pen to paper—well, thought to keystroke—and write a book. I have two that I’m working on. The first is a nonfiction book that was inspired by a blog post and encouraged by a realtor friend. Thank you, Jane!!! I’m about one-third complete; however, I put that one on pause. I switched gears to write a fiction novel. It’s an itch that has been burning, kind of like a dreaded rash, for years.
It’s odd to stop one and shift focus to the other. But I had to do it. I think I can complete the nonfiction book in two-to-three weeks. However, this isn’t about speed to publish for me or even about any money. I’ve since learned that if you are a lucky author, you may sell three-hundred copies—not quite the get rich quick scheme that I assume most dream about. Most don’t even sell three-hundred copies, mainly selling to generous and supportive family and friends.
That’s ok with me. My primary goal is to try something different while I’m forced into a period of rest; I will have about a four-week recovery period from an upcoming surgery. During this time, with my limited mobility, I want to do something outside of my norm. My focus will shift away from work (a nearly impossible task), away from the television, away from video games, and away from the computer. I’ve gone too far with that last one, I know. I’m not even sure you believed it. Hey, I need my computer—my precious. How else is the book going to be written?
I want to tap into a creative side, from my right-brain. It doesn’t get much exercise, or at least not like I want it to. If you know me, I’m left-brain dominate. I also write like a left-brain person, as you would expect, with long, structured and compounded sentences. My writing over the last twenty years focused on business proposals, business emails—internal and external alike—or school papers. They are all very matter of fact. Tell, don’t show, filled with a lot of supporting facts and figures. My friends and colleagues will confirm that I’m very thorough… probably too thorough, especially for executive communications.
But here I am… or go. Could I even get the courage and put together an interesting story that would allow me to write 120,000 or more words into a 400-page novel? Well, I finally put a stake in the ground and I’m going for it. I got really excited about the challenge. I quickly whipped out eight pages and when I went back to read them, it impressed me; yet I was equally disappointed. The product sounded just like a dang business proposal… just a little more friendly and non-business like. A lot of tell and not much show. That would not do if I was going to get serious about this endeavor.
I’ll write another post and will go a little deeper on the tools, resources, and my process as a first time creative, but I thought I would provide a sneak peek into a few things. They have already helped me immensely on this journey. Since the epiphany, I have now completed nearly forty-pages of a first draft into my fiction story. It’s a vast improvement. I’m looking forward to seeing where this journey takes me. I’m hoping to complete it in the next two months when I will sit it aside for a month and then go back to edit it. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be brave enough to share it.
If you thought about writing a novel but don’t know where to start, I found these to be extremely helpful:
- How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method (Advanced Fiction Writing Book 1)
- How to Write a Dynamite Scene Using the Snowflake Method (Advanced Fiction Writing Book 2)
- On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft by Stephen King
- Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques on Audible. This is a 12-hour audio course accompanied by a 170+ page course guide. I found it to be exceptional and very helpful.
For a tool to do the actual writing, Scrivener will be the best $50 you will spend. I have also switched from Grammarly to ProWritingAid. One advantage with ProWritingAid is the lifetime license. If you are interested in trying ProWritingAid, send a private message and I’ll reply with a 20% discount code for either the monthly or yearly subscription. It’s also good for the lifetime subscription.
If you are a published author or even an aspiring author on your journey, I would love to hear any tips, tricks, or best practices you have to share.
Happy Writing! Wish me luck.